Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Blogging in the Past.

Now I’ve heard everything. I have iTunes on my machine in the office, and periodically I troll around its Internet radio stations, which offer a broader spectrum (figuratively) than the (literal) broadcast spectrum. For example, where on the dial are you going to find a station called “MacVooty Radio – All Slim Gaillard”?

This morning I was tuned –- if that’s the word –- into “Living in the Past Radio.” The past, but only a fraction of it, from about 1968 to 1984, as far as I can tell. Otherwise the format isn’t very constricted. Any pop recording from the period seems to be fair game. It’s as if all the radio stations I knew ca. 1978, from the persnickety AOR KTFM to the heavy-rotation KTSA, home of awful AM fodder, were melded into an unwieldy contraption whose main charm is its unpredictability.

And it plays things that never got much airplay when they were new. Today, for instance, Living in the Past Radio at one point played “The Twelve Drugs of Christmas,” a holiday selection by Cheech & Chong. I think I heard that on somebody’s dorm room stereo at some hazy time, but never on the radio.

A few minutes later, the station (is it a station?) played “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” which I hadn’t heard in decades, and which ranks high among songs that insult Southerners. Not as high as the more famous “Southern Man,” by a certain Canadian, no less –- mind your own business, Neil –- but pretty high.


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